Two postdoctoral positions in Ethics & Philosophy of Religion at the Department of Theology, Aarhus University

The Department of Theology, School of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University invites applications for two 18-month fixed-term postdoctoral positions in Ethics & Philosophy of Religion.

The positions begin on 1 March 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Place of employment: Department of Theology, Nobelparken, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 3 – 7, 8000 Aarhus C.

The university is keen for its staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified applicants regardless of their personal background.Research context
The announced positions are made possible by an AUFF Starting Grant for the project “Epistemological Aspects of ‘Dialogue’: Exploring the Potential of the Second-Person Perspective” (2021-2023) led by Prof. Dr. Claudia Welz as Principal Investigator.

This project is devoted to ‘dialogue’ as a trans-disciplinary key concept that is crucial for any interreligious, intercultural and interhuman endeavour. Despite its inflationary use in different disciplines, the notion of ‘dialogue’ is far from clear and shall therefore be investigated in a multi-approach analysis combining an array of traditions that have favoured ‘dialogue.’
Philosophers of dialogue are often accused of focusing primarily on the ethical-existential significance of the encounter with another person – one’s being transformed by the embodied co-presence, voice and testimony of another – while neglecting the cognitive contents of the truth claims put forward. Yet, if we ignore that which is unique to dialogue, namely the performative, unforeseeable and surprising character of address and response in a shared space of reflection, we also miss the insights we can gain from this interactive process. Therefore, this project will investigate precisely the neglected epistemological aspects of dialogue by concentrating on that through (dia) which it takes place: the event of an interrelation of different perspectives in an encounter that combines subjectivity and objectivity in a special way.

The second-personal encounter exceeds what one person alone or what a neutral observer can see and compare; it differs fundamentally from both the insider-perspective of the first person and the outsider-perspective of the third person. Self-expression and the impression of otherness come together in the mutually binding sphere ‘in-between’ the interlocutors. The productive interplay of opposed orientations, where one’s own beliefs are challenged by alternatives, may result in the scientific virtues of intellectual pluri-perspectivity and epistemic humility, which help us avoid one-sidedness and oversimplification. That is why the potential of the second-person perspective is worth being explored further in regard to methodological innovation.The positions
We are looking for innovative scholars with a background in systematic theology, philosophy and/or religious studies, preferably with a specialisation in two or more of the following fields:

  • Reformation theology, in particular relational ontology (from Luther to Løgstrup)
  • Existential philosophy from Kierkegaard onwards
  • Philosophy of dialogue in the 20th century (e.g. Buber, Rosenzweig, Ebner)
  • French phenomenology (particularly Levinas, Nancy)
  • Hermeneutics (e.g. Gadamer) and literary theory (e.g. Bakhtin) dealing with ‘polyphony’
  • Psychological theories of communication (e.g. Watzlawick, Bavelas & Jackson).
The successful applicants will be expected to:
  • work with Professor Welz and other team members as well as external partners
  • participate in project activities (workshops, reading groups and conferences) and in activities at the department
  • develop their research within the described framework, present it at international conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and an anthology
  • contribute to the organisation of research workshops and an international conference
  • teach at BA and/or MA level (maximum 20%, by agreement).
Applicants are asked to submit a research proposal (3-5 pages, max. 3.000 words excl. bibliography) in which they present how they intend to approach the following shared questions that bind together the individual project parts:
  1. What quality and status can be attributed to the ‘in-between’ that mediates the dialogical relation between self and other?
  2. How can the relation between epistemology and ethics be defined?
  3. In what ways are affective and intellectual dimensions of ‘dialogue’ conjoined?
Research proposals should also contain information about the sources to be investigated, the state of the art in the respective research fields, suggested method(s) and time schedule.
In addition, applicants should submit the following:
  • CV (max. 2 pages)
  • a list of publications
  • a maximum of five publications for review
  • a concise statement of motivation for applying for the position (max. 1 page).
Teaching
The position will involve some teaching as agreed upon with the head of the department and the project’s PI.Knowledge exchange
The successful applicant will be expected to exchange knowledge with various sectors of society and to contribute actively to the public debate in areas related to the position.Qualifications and job requirements
Applicants for this position must hold a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in theology, philosophy, religious studies, or a related field.

Applicants must be able to document a relevant research profile of high research quality, including experience of international publication and reseach dissemination.

Please note that only publications which are actually submitted with the application will be assessed; a list of publications or cover pages will not be sufficient. Applications that are not accompanied by publications will not be assessed.

Professional references or recommendations should not be included. Applicants who are selected for an interview may be asked to provide professional references.

The application must be submitted in English.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Claudia Welz (email: clw@cas.au.dk).
For more information about the application, please contact HR supporter Marianne Birn (email: mbb@au.dk).The work environment
The School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University is one of the largest environments for theological, philosophical and interreligious research in Europe and attracts a number of internationally recognised researchers. The environment is nationally and internationally renowned for its research activities in areas such as the history of ideas, Christianity in antiquity, reformation theology, modern and post-Holocaust theology, Jewish studies, bioethics and climate ethics, hermeneutics as well as the study of N.F.S. Grundtvig, Søren Kierkegaard and K.E. Løgstrup.

The programme’s researchers are often involved in interdisciplinary projects and networks with researchers from other fields, including the humanities in general, medicine, psychology and social science. Read more at https://cas.au.dk/en/about-the-school/departments/theology/School of Culture and Society
At the School of Culture and Society, the object of research and teaching is the interplay between culture and society in time and space:
  • From the traditional disciplines of the humanities and theology to applied social research
  • From Antiquity to the issues facing contemporary societies
  • From local questions to global challenges.
The school’s goal is to produce compelling research with an international resonance, as well as offering teaching and talent development of high quality. The school has a broad cooperative interface with society, both in Denmark and abroad, and contributes to social innovation, research communication and further and continuing education.

For further information about the school, please see http://cas.au.dk/en/.
Qualification requirements
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.Formalities
Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order).Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here: https://talent.au.dk/junior-researcher-development-programme/

If nothing else is noted, applications must be submitted in English. Application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal bagground.
Shortlists are prepared with the candidates that have been selected for a detailed academic assessment. A committee set up by the head of school is responsible for selecting the most qualified candidates. See this link for further information about shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts: shortlistingFaculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.
The faculty contributes to Aarhus University's research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 275 PhD students, 9,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.
The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society and the Danish School of Education. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.
The faculty's academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction with society.

Read more at arts.au.dk/en

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/.

Deadline:
25. January 2021.

 


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